A chamber for topographical engineers in Turkey said on Monday that over 2 million people might have attended a “Justice Rally” organized by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sunday, refuting the İstanbul Governor’s Office, which has given a much lower figure, saying that only 175,000 people attended the rally.
According to a statement released by the Chamber of Topographical Engineers, part of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), on Monday, at least 1.5 million people were at the rally site in Maltepe yesterday, and the number might exceed 2 million with the people in additional spaces around the main rally area.
“The meeting site has a surface area of around 275,000 square meters. Moreover, there were also people in areas that were closed to traffic, which was around 100,000 square meters. So, people gathered in an area totaling up to 375,000 square meters. To calculate attendance, it is generally estimated that between three and six people occupy each square meter. Therefore, we can say that at least 1.5 million people attended the Justice Rally.”
In a statement on Sunday CHP deputy group chairman Özgür Özel said 1.6 million people attended the rally, but a statement issued by the İstanbul Governor’s Office later on Sunday said the number of attendees was 175,000. The governor’s office based its finding on the measurement of the venue’s surface area.
The CHP organized the rally at the end of a March of Justice launched by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15 from Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.